The Screenwriting Thing

*This is for anyone wanting to know the real thing (otherwise known as: my opinion) about writing, selling, and producing screenplays if you are so inclined.*

First, I have to establish an understanding with the writers reading these words. You’re a real writer, right? As in, you get ideas and write every day? Or do you just get ideas and don’t write them down, or what? Some people call themselves writers and either don’t get ideas or don’t write them down (and the liars do neither I suppose).

While anyone can put words together and force “story arches”, “macguffins”, and “characters” to do things on paper, it takes a true artisans fertile imagination, with a philosophical point to prove– and maybe a dash of moxie-fueled ambition, to create an authentic screenplay the artists you admire will want to champion. That’s the script you need to write. If that’s not you, please be honest with yourself instead of flooding the market with cold, palmy, sub-par putrid piles of mess. You pollute our community and bring down the culture with unchecked cognitive bias written carelessly into your characters, your lack of originality, and the propagation of regressive formulaic storytelling.

*waits*

Okay, hopefully those who were going to overreact in defensive anger and close their browser window have done so, and now it’s just you and I, the real writers. Isn’t that better? πŸ˜€

You get ideas and write them down, excellent! Next, all you really need to know are the formatting guidelines that Hollywood expects, basic punctuation and grammar, and a strong story structure that holds your completely original and creative material in place. This site can help– In fact, I’ll help you right now. Here are the only two books you need to write a screenplay:

I’ll put a couple more things in blog posts to help you along structurally, and a few things here and there to jostle inspiration if you’re temporarily clogged (depression does that, and I know we tend to have a separate spectrum just for being maudlin; writer/alcoholic connection?), but this site is designed to and will only support and nurture true-blue writers, and cannot create one out of unlike kind.

You’re either a creator with lots of internal tension and write every day or you’re not and you don’t. It’s in the doing of the every day that makes up who you are… We’re going to move on, though I hope this is clear; take it up with me if it’s not: Natalee@NataleeArteaga.com.

I’m stating simple truths so you can recalibrate your perspective and adjust your expectations if you need to before we proceed.Β 

So, proceed if you are definite in your definitions of your Self (as a writer, comrade!).

Hemingway

After you complete the screenplay, trust that the cream rises to the top, in its own time; And! Be as nice and as gracious as you can with every single human being you come into contact with thereafter.

Being gracious with a powerful and original script under your arm is how you want to be discovered when others find you. It’s as much their experience of an artist as it is you experiencing the manner in which you move through your life.

I stay away from the negative personas, the ungracious, the lazy, the unoriginal, the hateful, the bitter, the incurably sad, the devaluers, and the victims. Do the same, follow your intuition. Forgive yourself for your honest mistakes and don’t ever stop trying to be better than you were a moment ago. Give and ask for second chances and don’t fuck them up and sabotage someone’s movie because you’re not honest with yourself and/or are selfish.

I’m attracted to original, independent and authentic personas: the strong, the idealistic, the creative, the noble, gracious, the loyal, the passionate, the magnanimous, the amusing, and the strategic. Look for the same. Always follow your intuition if it reacts to someone displaying these traits which are feigned, inconsistent, disingenuous, or inauthentic. Sometimes you have to work with horrible people, and when that is unavoidable respect them as much as you can before you’re forced to defend yourself. Be loud and clear about your boundaries and prove all points on how to treat you with either a profound and mature sense of urgency or with an immediate and obstinately quiet exit. Email me for follow-up strategy: Natalee@NataleeArteaga.com

Boundaries

It’s never too late to reinvest in your Self.

Fix your character flaws or be in the process of fixing them.

Walk into responsibility and learn from your mistakes, find trustworthy people, share work between yous, and keep writing. Let your work speak for itself and be gracious working with others.

Marge reads The Fountainhead

Essentially: Be like Howard Roark and if you’re not then quit. Read The Fountainhead if you don’t know who he is. For a free copy, email Natalee@NataleeArteaga.com.

What’s important is your perspective in the every day, the mind palace you create for your Self to live in all day every day. Is it a palace? Or is it an ugly prison bonded and built with the traumas of your past and fears of other people and the future? It’s your day thinking that soaks your soul at night. What do you immerse yourself in?Β 

You want to both deserve and offer value in the form of relationship and the quality of your talent. Follow your own flow; Businesses, collaborations, and relationships in all manners and forms may then unfold for you naturally. Act with integrity and honesty, because even though you may be misunderstood, secretly insulted, betrayed, repeatedly sabotaged, and experience long delays on your road to, through, and beyond whatever you consider success, the value you derive from operating your life with this artistic integrity will feed your soul for years to come and insulate you against regret when in old age. The High Road is high for a reason; money, fame, and awards mean nothing compared to those sterling moments at the end of your life when it’s quiet and you’re alone with your Self and you can feel good that what you created and how you treated people both defined your character and energized your sense of aliveness; that warm pride will bestow the gift of dignity at deaths time and that’s the moment worth building towardsΒ today.

Last Moments

Another over-masticated thought-post or just the right length this time? Let me know: Natalee@NataleeArteaga.com

TL:DR
Be talented, be good to your self and others, and let the cream rise to the top in its own time.Β Be very much like Howard Roark about your life and art and if you’re not then quit. Read The Fountainhead if you don’t know who he is. For a free copy, email Natalee@NataleeArteaga.com.